Bargnani might beat Valanciunas back into Raptors lineup
With both Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas due back sometime in the next week and a half or so, Casey’s frontcourt is going to get awfully crowded.
Casey said both Bargnani (torn right elbow ligament and strained right wrist) and Valanciunas (fractured metacarpal on right ring finger) have some more tests on their respective agendas, but with practice time both Sunday and Tuesday, Casey figures he’ll have a good idea where they are after that.
“If I was a betting man, I would say Andrea is ahead of Jonas because I think there’s still the fear of hitting that hand again (for Jonas),” Casey said before Saturday’s loss to Cleveland. “I’m sure he’ll have to wear some sort of pad when he does return.”
Bargnani was shooting from distance on Sunday and showing no effects of either an elbow or wrist injury.
Casey said both men will return to a different way of doing things than what had been going on when they last played.
“The thing is incorporating them back into how we want to play and how we play now,” Casey said. “It is a little different than how we were. We were more play call specific when Andrea was at the four. Now we would like the ball to find him and it will. The ball always finds your excellent shooters. The way we are playing our pick-and-roll game now, instead of running so many specific plays for him, let the ball find him. That’s how it has been moving for us lately.”
Most interesting will be where each gets his playing time, whether it’s with the starters or coming off the bench.
It’s no secret that in their absence, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson have shown to be a very good starting tandem.
Casey expects the returns of Valanciunas and Bargnani will benefit everyone.
“Nobody’s role will suffer,” Casey said. “It will just enhance everyone’s.”